Australia & Germany win at Investec London Cup

Australia's Jodie Schulz shoots at a penalty corner routine against Ireland during their pool game in the Investec London Cup at the Quintin Hogg Memorial Ground, Chiswick, west London, 6th June 2012.

There were wins for Australia and Germany on day two of the Investec London Cup, results that mean Great Britain and Ireland have big matches on Thursday against Germany and the Netherlands.  Tickets for Thursday's action will be on sale on the gate priced at just £15 for adults and £5 for kids.

Pool A

Australia 4  (3) - 1 (0) Ireland
Fiona Boyce 3 (F)           Nicola Daly 55 (F)
Emily Smith 10 (F)            
Jodie Schulz 19 (PC)            
Casey Eastham 48 (F)            

On day two at the Investec London Cup, Australia, playing their second game in Pool B, faced an Ireland side ranked 14th in the world.  Having narrowly missed out to the Netherlands yesterday, the girls from down under were hoping to put in a commanding performance to continue to press for a semi-final spot. 

Ireland arrived having played very little hockey since missing out on Olympic qualification in March and they took some time to settle into the game while Australia looked lively and dangerous from the outset.

Australia’s impressive display in first half finishing ultimately meant they came out 4-1 winners.

Australia came out of the blocks quickly, immediately attacking the Ireland circle with their lively style. Two early goals from Fiona Boyce and Emily Smith – both from close range after flowing moves - put the Hockeyroos in an early commanding position before, mid-way through the half, Australia went 3-0 up from the first penalty corner of the game; Jodie Schulz firing home high into the top corner. Ireland goalkeeper Emma Gray, winning her 50th cap, had to be on top form to keep Australia at bay as they won a string of penalty corners as Megan Rivers and Casey Eastham pulled the strings.

Gray could do little about Casey Eastham’s reverse stick goal to make it 4-0 after the youngster added the final touch to a deflected cross.  Ireland used the aerial ball to relieve pressure with Chloe Watkins enjoying success on the counter attack for Ireland as she weaved her way into the circle, but again the final touch eluded the girls in green.  Ireland’s consolation came in the 55th minute when a quickly taken free hit into the circle was met by Nicola Daly at the back post for 4-1.

Reflecting on the game, his first in charge, Ireland coach Denis Pritchard said: “The Australian strength on the ball was really good but I thought we adjusted very well in the second half”.

Just missing out on a place at the London Olympics meant Ireland came into the Investec London Cupwith a different focus to many of the other teams as coach Pritchard explained: “We’ve got some young players here and we’ve come with the intention of improving individually.  I thought Emma Gray made some very good saves and I’m really pleased for her on her 50th cap.”

Ireland’s second match of the tournament is against the World’s number one side, the Netherlands, at 5:30pm on Thursday. 

Pool B

South Africa 0 (0) - 1 (1) Germany
-           Eileen Hoffman 30 (F)

The second match of the day saw came from Pool B as South Africa took on Germany at the Investec London Cup. The Germans, ranked third in the world, won the game 1-0, despite a gutsy performance from South Africa who made their opponents fight very hard for the narrowest victory.

The first half was evenly fought with very few chances for either side.  Germany looked dangerous on the attack and it was Eileen Hoffman who made the breakthrough for her side after 30 minutes to score what proved to be the decisive goal.  The second half saw more even play, however it was South Africa who looked the most likely to score in the closing minutes, winning a series of penalty corners but it was not to be and the game finished 1-0.
Speaking after the game, Germany’s Head Coach Michael Behrmann said, “We have had three weeks off coming into this tournament and that showed at times today, however we won our first match and that is really important on the way to London.”

South African Assistant Coach, Fabian Gregory, said “After the high of yesterday [when South Africa beat Great Britain 3-1] it was a bit tough today, but I think the girls can be extremely proud and I’m excited about the progress we have made.”

Germany’s match with Great Britain is a ‘must win’ tie for the hosts, for whom a two goal victory is required if they are to make Saturday’s semi finals.

TV Highlights & Live Finals Day Coverage

You can see highlights of day one at the Investec London Cup on Sky Sports 4 at 6:30am on Thursday and highlights of tonight's matches at 7:00pm on Thursday. The full TV schedule for Sky Sports, including Sunday's five and a half hour hockey marathon, is here.

Tickets for tomorrow

Tickets for Thursday's crunch match between Ireland and the Netherlands, and Great Britain's big game against Germany will be on sale on the gate tomorrow priced at £15 and £5.

Upgrade to a VIP hospitality ticket for an additional £135 by calling Richard Fynn on 07894 692139 and join us for a very special evening with Olympic great Sean Kerly

Only a month out from the London Olympics hear about Sean’s medal winning memories including “that final”, his optimism for the upcoming games and his role with the BBC.

This fantastic evening will provide a perfect setting to mix business with pleasure and where you can entertain friends, clients and colleagues in exclusive surroundings.

• Sparkling wine on arrival
• A plentiful range of delicious canapés and finger food
• Complimentary bar of select wine, beer and spirits
• Priority car parking pass
• Complimentary souvenir programme
• Preferential accommodation rates at the opulent Grange Strathmore Hotel
• Private access to the player of the match presentation including post match views from the GB captain Kate Walsh